Four Part Series: Uncovering the Real Value of ERP for Midsized Companies, Part 1

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As midsized companies have embraced technology to maintain their competitiveness, they have quickly learned a fundamental truth:  technology can move a company forward only as far as its business processes allow.

Especially with enterprise resource planning, or ERP, organizations with 1,000 to 5,000 employees are uncovering significant benefits from entering customer and vendor data just once for all activities, coordination of scheduling, and automation of financial processes. The technology’s effectiveness is inhibited, however, by the processes that feed data into the ERP system and the movement of that data across the organization.

For example, a 2011 Metafile survey of more than 200 executives, IT professionals and other employees in companies using Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions found that paper is still by far the most prevalent form of processing accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR). Almost 75 percent indicated invoices are primarily shared among coworkers in hard-copy format.

Technology offers a solution to this obstacle in the form of Paperless ERP, which leverages optical character recognition, or OCR, that enables paper documents to be scanned for further processing. The Metafile survey discovered, however, that the vast majority of respondents—including 69 percent of midsized companies—have not seriously considered OCR and have pushed such consideration off to sometime in the future.

Our next three installments for the ERP software blog will take an in depth look at the benefits of Paperless ERP, the right questions to ask during the implementation process and best practices in using this type of solution.

By Nick Sprau, Metafile Information Systems

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